This month, Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., introduced the Social Security Disability Insurance Return to Work Act of 2017 (H.R.1540) in the House of Representatives. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined with two Senate conservatives recently to introduce the companion bill (S. 654) in the Senate to back a proposal reforming Social Security disability benefits.
Noting that disability benefits are consuming more Social Security funds, Rubio and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, are co-sponsoring U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s, R-Ark., “Return to Work Act” which places new applicants who qualify for Social Security disability benefits in four groups based on whether medical improvement is expected, likely, possible or not expected.
Beneficiaries in the first three groups would be given a timeline to receive disability benefits while those who are not expected to recover would not. If beneficiaries in the first three groups have not recovered at the end of their timelines–two years for those deemed expected to recover, five years for those deemed likely to recover, longer for those whose recovery is possible–they will be able to reapply for disability benefits.